Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival at various Palm Beach County movie theaters; various show times; $10 adults, $5 children; 561/736-7527 or www.palmbeachjewishfilm.org
Now in its 23rd year and still searching world cinema for the best documentaries, dramas and comedies with a Jewish slant, the Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival opened last Thursday and continues through Sunday, Jan. 27. Each day is chock full of screenings from morning to night at Movies of Delray, Regal Delray Beach 18 and Cobb Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens, among other venues. Today, in particular, features a superlative crop of movies, including “The Flat” (pictured), a personal documentary/mystery in which a Jewish filmmaker discovers a hidden connection to Nazis will digging through his late grandmother’s apartment; “Numbered,” a heartbreaking and surprisingly humorous study of Holocaust tattoos; and “Foreign Letters,” a coming-of-age story about an Israeli adolescent adjusting to a new life in the United States. Visit the festival’s website for complete show times, and look for a review of one of its films later this week on bocamag.com.
George Will at Society of the Four Arts, 2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach; 3 p.m.; free for members or $15 for nonmembers to watch a live telecast; 561/655-7226 or www.fourarts.org
A longtime stalwart of American conservatism and a former editor of The National Review, Will today sounds like a liberal next to the bomb-throwing rhetoric of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Like William F. Buckley before him, Will is an erudite scholar who influences the populace with statistics rather than paranoia. He brings a professorial approach to his syndicated newspaper columns and incisive appearances on “This Week,” sharing with one of the show’s occasional panelists, left-wing commentator Keith Olbermann, an abiding love of baseball. In this polarized political climate, we’ll take any common ground we can find.
Tuesday and Wednesday
Motionhouse: “Scattered” at Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 7:30 p.m.; $28 and up; 561/832-7469 or www.kravis.org
Water covers more than 70 percent of Earth’s surface, but it’s 100 percent the focus of “Scattered,” the 18th full-length production from one of the United Kingdom’s most groundbreaking dance companies, Motionhouse. The spectacle, which integrates film projection and circus-style aerial showmanship, takes place on a huge curved floor —similar to a skateboarder’s half-pipe—which transforms into an ocean, waterfall, scorching sun and other impediments to the intrepid troupe of contemporary dancers.
Robert Watson at Delray Beach Public Library, 100 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 2 p.m.; $5; 561/266-9490 or www.delraylibrary.org
Even presidential historians know that sex sells – and even in environments of corsets, periwigs and infrequent showers. In his recent book “Affairs of State,” historian Robert Watson – Lynn University’s American Studies department chair and a frequent guest on national talk shows – digs deep into the sex scandals of yore, long before JFK’s romps with Marilyn Monroe or Bill Clinton’s fun with cigars. Watson’s 500-page study of White House affairs, which he will discuss at this appearance and signing, covers the years 1789-1900. It begins with George Washington and includes such intriguingly titled chapters as “The Siamese Twins,” “I Can Never Be Satisfied” and this doozy: “Fatal Attraction.” Arrive early, as the library’s space is very limited.
Mike Birbiglia at Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Drive; 8 p.m.; $35; 954/344-5999 or www.coralspringscenterforthearts.com
Mike Birbiglia gets around. In addition to traveling the country as a comedian and contributor to public television’s “This American Life,” Birbiglia is an actor and notorious sleepwalker who, last winter, slept in a Macy’s store window for a week during Downy’s “Clean Sheet Week” Challenge. (We assume he kept the sleepwalking at bay.) The travels for the funnyman and “Sleepwalk With Me” author and star continue with the South Florida premiere of his latest one-man show, “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” a hilarious exposé of his lifetime of romantic blunders – and how it ultimately led him to embrace a marriage tradition he never thought he would espouse.
Friday and Saturday
MOMIX at Duncan Theatre at Palm Beach State College, 4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth; 8 p.m.; $45; 561/868-3309 or www.duncantheatre.org
The greatest dance company ever named after a feed supplement for veal calves was founded in 1981 by Moses Pendleton as an offshoot of his other company Pilobolus. MOMIX has developed a reputation for its staggering combination of dance and illusionism. Special effects, props and dramatic lighting designs complement the group’s impossibly acrobatic dancers across thematic tableaux ranging from baseball fields to arid deserts to the craters of the moon. For this tour, MOMIX will perform its latest piece, “Botanica,” which represents the dancers’ immersion into an ever-changing world of nature. Expect copious animal costumes, snakelike appendages and duets with dinosaur skeletons, as the performers transform into a myriad of flora and fauna.
Saturday and Sunday
Bravo Amici at Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton; 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday; $45 to $65; 561/237-9000, www.lynn.edu
This talented quintet of international tenors and divas comprise the only performers to return after a sensational performance at the Wold Center last season. If that previous show was any indication, they’re sure to be the highlight of 2013’s truncated arts season at the glittering venue. Shattering the misconception that the best opera singers boast wide-girthed proportions, these dashing young turks have the goal of introducing classical musical forms to pop audiences. Backed by a full orchestra, Bravo Amici’s compelling vocalists croon classics in Italian and English, crafting a crossover cultural stew of polished musicality. It’s no wonder they’ve sold more than 3 million albums, counting Sir Elton John among their rapidly growing fan base.
Opening night of Miami International Film Festival Retrospective Series at Tower Theatre, 1508 S.W. Eighth St., Miami; 7 p.m.; $11; 305/237-3456 or www.miamifilmfestival.com
As an ardent cinephile, this is the event I’ve been waiting months for: the rare opportunity to see 30 years’ worth of films that once debuted at the Miami International Film Festival, most of them in their original 35mm format. Once a day, the Tower Theatre, one of Miami’s cultural treasures, will screen a movie representing each year of the festival, from tonight’s screening of Pedro Almodovar’s “Dark Habits” (which played the MIFF in 1984) on through to “Mariachi Gringo,” which played the festival in 2012, and which concludes this festival on Feb. 28. “Dark Habits” deserves a lot of coverage in itself; it’s out of print on DVD, and it will be screened on an extremely rare subtitled print on loan from London. Keep with this festival in February and you’ll be able to see gems like the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” the Greek masterpiece “Landscape in the Mist” and the eerie black-and-white thriller “Suture.”